Anand held to draw by Kasparov

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Viswanathan Anand had to settle for a draw after brilliant defense by Garry Kasparov in the sixth round of the Linares Super Grandmasters chess tournament.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:49 IST
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Viswanathan Anand had to settle for a draw after brilliant defense by Garry Kasparov in the sixth round of the Linares Super Grandmasters chess tournament. Kasparov remained atop the tables in the category-20 double round-robin tournament being played under classical time control. While the Russian has 3.5 points in the event from his five games played so far, Anand and Bulgarian Veselin Toaplov are a half point adrift on three points from as many games. Fide World champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov also has three points but he has used up six games to achieve that and Corus Champion Peter Leko has played five games for his 2.5 points. Eight rounds still remain in the tournament. Thwarted chances Anand took his chances with white pieces against Kasparov and was almost rewarded when suddenly the hot favourite came out with a terrific defensive resource. Playing white, the Indian ace was surprised early in the opening as Kasparov went for the Sicilian Sveshnikov rather than his trademark Nazdorf. The reason for Kasparov's choice was simple. Anand has not been having a good time against this opening in the recent past as in the last Corus chess tournament he could muster just one point out of three games with his white pieces playing against it. However, this time Anand was better prepared as he got a good position soon after the middle game arrived and started exerting pressure on the queen side. Counter play Kasparov on the other hand was also quite up to the task in working out his counter play on the other flank and when Anand started advancing his passed pawn on the queen side, the Russian was quick to get all his pieces to attack the white king. The final position after 44 moves was picturesque as both players had a queen and one minor piece each in addition to pawns on seventh rank. Veselin Toaplov added to the woes of off-form Vallejo. The Bulgarian scored a fine victory after consistently putting Vallejo under pressure in an English attack game where Topalov played white. Going for the blood right from the word go, Toaplov caught Vallejo unaware when the tactical complexities ensued and the Spaniard did not get a second chance in the game. Topalov wrapped the issue in 32 moves. Good result Rustam Kasimdzhanov passed his first leg of Linares without any loss and that can be called a good result for the Uzbek, who started as the lowest ranked player in the tournament. In the sixth round too, Leko found Kasimdzhanov a tough nut to crack even as the Hungarian had the advantage of playing white. Kasimdzhanov went for the Marshall gambit and even as Leko had a new and subtle idea to transform the sharp middle game to a pawn plus endgame, black's compensation was never really disputed. (PTI)

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